The NFL may be stumbling along trying to figure out how to handle and prevent concussions, but Pop Warner, the country’s most powerful youth football organisation, has come up with a pretty simple solution.
Instead of putting pressure on coaches to decide when kids are healthy enough to play, the players must produce a doctor’s note of clearance for physical contact before being allowed to participate in a game following a head injury.
Pop Warner, which has about 280,000 players nationwide, is also creating a medical advisory board which will be led by the chairman of neurosurgery at West Virginia’s medical school, Dr. Julian Bailes, who also works with the NFLPA.
Concussions are rarer at the Pop Warner level where athletes aren’t as big and strong as in the NFL, but they do occur — and given the developmental age of the player, may be more dangerous when they do.
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